tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC January 13, 2010 5:00pm-6:00pm EST
economy will fall apart. the bad news and we will all wake up and the graveyard is filled with irreplaceable people. they don't deserve that money. they haven't done anything morally, socially, fundamentally to earn it. we should tax it and give it to the public. to use that money to lend it to businesses. give it to the sba. that is what the economy needs. >> i want to read to you a quote from the ceo of j.p. mor gan jamie dimon on the bonus tax. i think using tax policy to punish people is a bad idea. all businesses tend to pass their costs on to customers. that strikes me as a statement only made by a monopolist if he wants to pass the taxes on i can't go to any other bank and i have no choice but to be jammed by jamie dimon. >> that is a good
interpretation. i think the question here in congress is are we going to try to regulate monopoly or restore competition. the large bank have a monopoly. if they are too big to fail, they are too big to exist. our small banks in vermont increased lending. they are not getting fat ceo salaries and not looking for over the top bonuses. there is a certain sadness i have with a bank like goldman sachs which used to have the reputation of being the most responsible on wall street and it is now the most predatory. do we tolerate that? it is shameful for those folks who think that is a business model. it is bad for the long-term interest of a sustainable united states economy. the agenda here has to be to revive investment. reward bankers that are lending money and helping our manufactures, our entrepreneurs, are small businesses, create
jobs and generate wealth. >> representative welch, thank you so much. governor, thank you as well. i can see you nodding. that is it for us. i'm dylan. up next, "hardball." >> earthquake in haiti. good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. here is what we know at this hour. bodies are piling up in the streets of port-au-prince. haiti's prime minister says hundreds of thousands of people may be dead. the haitian president says he has heard 30,000 to 50,000 people may be dead. there is no true casualty figure yet. haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and the damage from the earthquake is widespread. the quake flattened the palace the roman catholic cathedral the
main prison and hospitals and schools in the capital. president obama pledged an all-out rescue and humanitarian effort. >> i have directed my administration to respond with a swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives. the people of haiti will have the full support of the united states in the urgent rescue of those trapped beneath the rubble, to deliver humanitarian relief, food, water and medicine haitians will need in the coming days. >> we will get more on the white house response with chuck todd in a minute. but let's begin in haiti with the salvation army. we are joined by skype. bob, thanks for joining us. what is going on right now on in the capital? >> well, we just suffered another fairly major rocker. so we are all a little nervous.
and, in fact, if it gets too bad i may have to get out of here before we are done. another unstable evening in port-au-prince. >> how many minutes ago was that? the shudder? >> i would say five. >> five minutes ago. it is not an earthquake again? it is not seven on the richt ter? >> no. not that severe. but shook all the buildings. i'm inside a building, unadvisedly, but i am. we scampered out of here quickly. >> what are we to make of the casualty estimates by the president and the prime minister. they are so at odds, one in hundreds of thousands, one around 30,000. they are horrible. but who do we trust, anyone? or is it going to take a couple of days to get a fix on how bad things are? >> i think that is a truth,
chris. nobody knows. everybody is guessing. those who are pessimistic guess one way, optimistic guess another. the truth is we are still digging, digging out. today they brought dozens of bodies to our compound who have been dugout the neighborhood around where we live. it is a horrible scene. it is not just one or two neighborhoods. it is most of port-au-prince, the entire city. >> bob, i have never been -- i have been in countries like mozambique, but i have never been a country as poor as haiti. i was there many years ago where i saw a kid drinks out of a pothole. that is a bad state of how lousy the governments have been for centuries. this is amazing, the hell on top of hell. >> yes. that is exactly right. i didn't think it could get worse. i have been here nine months. i have been works to do the work
of the salvation army here and i didn't think it could be worse but i learned yesterday that it is much, much, much worse. >> let me ask you about what is being done. are people -- is there enough hospital space? we are watching people on the footage here of people coming in on gurneys, being carried around by the people there, regular people from the streets. i wonder, being taken to hospital. are there enough beds for all these multiple perhaps in the hundreds of thousands of casualties here? is there any hope this can be dealt with with what is there in this poor country? >> not in the least, chris. many hospitals were very badly damaged. some i understand have been abandoned by staff because they were so afraid and so there's very little hospital space available on the best day here in port-au-prince. nowhere near 1,000 beds. i don't think there would be
1,000 beds in the whole area from what i have seen. so, no. nowhere near enough space to take people who need -- i saw many people today with badly maimed limbs and damaged body. there is no hospital around here they could get to. they come to us for the best we can do for them. >> tell me what it was like when it struck, when you experienced it yourself being there. it is in the dark. it happened. the people were in their homes because it was in the evening. tell me what the situation was as it struck and your memory of it while it is still fresh. >> it is very fresh. i was driving a pickup truck coming down the mountain. the truck began to shake violently from left to right. i couldn't figure out what it was. i thought we had been hit by another vehicle. i thought people were shaking
it. as i looked out my window to my left i saw the building pancaking down, one on top of the other on top of the other. i looked in the rear-view mirror and saw more buildings pancaking down and great clouds of dust and debris rising up. within seconds i saw hundreds of people streaming out of the buildings into the streets, crying, screaming, carrying bloody children, bloody parents. everybody in the state of shock. we loaded as many people as we could in our pickup truck and brought them down the mountain to try to get them relief. we did the best. i had to leave the truck and walk two miles because i couldn't get home because the roads were blocked. >> so the -- >> i haven't seen it with my own eyes. it is, i understand, better off. i can't say that 100%. >> i mean by that it is
economically better off. the middle class people lived in that area. it is lots of tourist spots for people to stay in. small accommodations for people to stay at modest rates. what that hit as well as the downtown area? >> very, very, very badly. parts of it were absolutely destroyed. it is the haitian suburb. the more affluent suburb of port-au-prince, many families there have had a loss of life and are devastated because they lost homes, businesses, so many things that have been just taken. >> right now is the government able to dig people out? are there actual evidents by any community -- there are any community services or is it up to each family to survive and get out of the rubble themselves
and look for food and try to survive until the relief supplies get there? is there a collective effort in this country to get through this? >> i haven't witnessed it to this point. i do admit i have not been in all part of the community. to be sure. but where i live is port-au-prince and i haven't seen anything here except neighbor and family members digging through the debris trying to find their family members and get them out and bring them to the salvation army so they can perhaps get food and water, medical attention and a little hope. >> describe, bob, what it is like for a impoverrished country, where you have nothing, everyone for themselves. in this kind of a situation, on top of that this natural disaster comes.
>> yes. i have been struck by the lack of infrastructure in haiti and the things i have taken for granted, having electricity, having running water. having hot water. just as an american i would consider the norm. and those things are just not readily available here. nor is there a concerted effort to clean streets or take care of garbage or any of those things. so now when many streets are blocked, when most homes, most buildings in port-au-prince are affected by this, at least minimally, but many very heavily damaged -- >> what is the latest word, bob. i'm pushing you. what is the latest word on relief supplies getting to your capital area, port-au-prince?
is it a day or two or is it coming faster? do you expect bundles of food and water. water is a challenge for that country, to arrive, how soon? >> we're hearing the first to arrive tomorrow. i don't know the massive amounts will arrive. i'm pleased the salvation army has put together an intern national team arriving tomorrow. bringing some supplies. they tell us that we will begin to see supplies arriving tomorrow. overhead i have seen u.s. coast guard planes, gratefully so. so i know the presence is near. i want to say thank you to the american people and to president obama for being willing to make these things availability to the haitian people. >> thank you bob. with the salvation army. certainly if you want to help you should help through the salvation army among other charitable organizations.
the state department set up a special information hotline for americans seeking information about family members. here is the number of those who want to reach family members 1-888-407-4747. of course, if you want to give aid you have to go to organizations like the salvation army. that is an organization, and the red cross of course. we will be right back with more. you can text the word haiti to 90999. that automatically donates $10 to the relief effort. that will show up on your phone bill. our special coverage of earthquake in haiti continues after this. in a blind taste test, more people preferred prego over bertolli. the sweet and savory taste of prego. it's in there. breaking up is hard to do. so allstate will do it for you.
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we must be prepared for difficult hours and days ahead as we learn about the scope of the tragedy. we will keep the victims and their families in our prayers. we will be resolute in our response and i pledge to the people of haiti you will have a friend and partner in the united states of america today and going forward. may god bless the people of haiti and those working on their behalf. >> welcome back to "hardball." live coverage of the earthquake tragedy in haiti. let's go to chief white house correspondent chuck todd. this isn't about politics but action. is this a trial run for this administration? we have a guy rajiv shah, almost in the same position the bush administration was in with regard to katrina, with perhaps a more horrific disaster. >> it is. as the president made clear,
this is going to be an american cleanup. this is going to be american-led disaster relief. there's nobody else to do it. haiti is in our back yard. we have been protector is not the right word, if we had been a protector this country wouldn't be in as bad a shape. we have been seen as the lone place to deal with haiti. this guy raj shah is dealing at a.i.d. he is going to lead this charge. i think it is fair to say it a trial run. we heard the guy on skype from salvation army how he has already seen military presence there. that tells you a lot. the fact we can get military presence there, coast guard helicopters there. you can almost picture, you were talking about the water situation, you are going to have to see u.s. military ship after military ship bringing the supplies in that way.
it is probably easier than coming over the mountains. >> it has been a 200 year political disaster. probably before that in colonial times. it never worked out in papa doc and baby doc and aristide. the country doesn't function. it has nothing but poverty. few rich people. it is a vacation resort, a place to go in the '50s when nixon and adelaide stevenson would go there. now we look at a country that is like bangladesh, nothing but bad news and on top comes this horror we are looking at it is so unfair. we are looking at the president and the way he response because he is the chief executive not just the head of the government. he has to respond now and prove his executive skill. this president, our president now, with how he handles this. >> there is a domestic reason to do it.
if you don't help haiti rebuild, the haitians will come to florida and stress out resources. that is always a potential consequence of what happens here. i think one of the ways the obama administration is going to have to galvanize support, continuing support, it is easy to get support to help now. it is hardener three months. >> this is not going to be a fight. we will argue about it later except whack jobs like pat robertson who say they are on a cursed island. >> no. during the tsunami bush got clinton and his father together. i bet obama will do that -- >> former president clinton and president bush. >> probably 43 this time. governor jeb bush. you will see a bipartisan action team on this. >> as we were talking about, this is a free country of ours and we have organizations. the best thing about america is
it organizes. >> it is going to be three months from now the hard work and trying to galvanize the government. >> here is the president only doing stuff by our federal government and can be done quickly by the government with the largest military apparatus to deliver goods within hours. here is the president of the united states talking about what the united states is doing in the next 24 hours. let's listen. >> i have directed my administration to respond with a swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives? the people of haiti will have the full support of the united states in the urgent effort to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble and deliver the humanitarian relief, the food, water and medicine haitians will need in the coming days. our government, especially usaid and state and defense are working together with our partners in haiti, the region
and around the world. >> let's talk about this as an obama mission. we talked about raj shah. university of pennsylvania graduate, highly credentialed to do this job. this responsibility is highly executive. getting something done now. he is going be in the spotlight. >> he is. and cut through bureaucracies of defense and state and mobilize. not the easiest task to do, in particular somebody so new to this job. he is very new to a.i.d. that said, a.i.d. of all the organizations we have internationally, it is designed to mobilize. are they able to mobilize quickly? a.i.d. is not always the quickest. their mission is to help over time. doing this quickly will be a different challenge. >> the united states gets blamed for intervening in these
countries, but if you don't intervene in crisis you are the bad guy, if you intervene and try to fix up governments you are the bad guy. we will be blamed for doing things and not doing them. >> it is. that is why -- look, this is a -- this is one of those things. it is an american responsibility. >> i think everyone agrees. by the way, that is the spirit of this office today. this is something we have to cover and get to as americans. thank you so much chuck todd. always on top of the issue. you can send donations to many organizations. two of them are unicef and the american red cross. 1-800-4 unicef and the red cross 1-800-red-cross. text the word haiti to 90999 to make a $10 donation. catholic charities and religious organizations are respected in
this terrain of emergency aid to people. more on the earthquake and haiti. when we return, reaction from haitians in this country. this is not a "hardball" tonight. it is humanitarian activity. continues just after this. >> the families that are dealing with loss, i tell them god has given, god has taken away may his will be done. and let's work with the living right now. ♪ with the centers for disease control and prevention saying... that vaccination is still your best protection, walgreens and take care clinics... now offer h1n1 flu vaccinations... every day at our more than 7000 locations nationwide... for just $18.00. so stop in today. walgreens. there's a way to stay well.
concern about family members living here in the states. >> reporter: well, chris, not much is changing for the people here. it is estimated 99% of this community has been unable to reach their loved ones in haiti. imagine that as you're hearing that the death toll may be in the tens of thousands, possibly over 100,000 dead. so this is a community that is very worried, very concerned. senator george lemieux was out here earlier trying to give us an update about the u.s. assets and to pledge u.s. aid. they are turning to prayer as they have gone through this day. there was a huge mass, adults joined by 400 school kid. this has been terribly difficult for those kids as well. they know their families may be there.
they know their parents are trying to reach loved ones. this is what one teacher told us. >> naturally some of them were very sad this morning because they do have relatives in haiti. one of my students was crying all through -- since he came in this morning because his father is there working there and his mother is with him here in miami. he has no idea whatsoever what is happening with his father because he hasn't been in touch with him. >> i'm sorry. we live in an age of cell phones not land lines in third world countries like haiti, actually a fourth world country. don't people rely on cell phones and do they reach there? >> normally they do and are able to communicate. you have seen the devastation. a lot of the infrastructure, the telecommunications simply knocked out. we have been hearing that it is
only satellite phones in large part that are getting through. people here have not been able to reach out. i was going to tell you, speaking of those kids and relief efforts, those kids raised $500 this morning to send along in this community really coming together, trying to organize those relief efforts so when they are able to get help in that will go along with it. >> kristen dahlgren in little haiti. congressman meeks. his district includes little haiti. pat robertson, let's hear what he had to say. it know it is terrible. here is pat robertson on the hell that just broke loose in haiti. >> you know, christy, something happened along time ago in haiti
and the people might not want to talk about it. they were under the heel of the french, napoleon iii and whatever. and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. we will serve you if you get us free from the french. a true story. so the devil said okay, it's a deal. they kicked the french out. the haitians revoted and got themselves free. but ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other. >> well, that is former republican candidate for president pat robertson. what is that about, that weird hostility from a churchman? >> i don't know what it's about. and i think it has nowhere in this dialogue. i mean, as i stand here now, i just got off the phone with a pastor that has 38 young kids from orlando that is associated with the southern baptist down
there doing mission work. the ame church of florida is involved in mission work there. there are synagogues that have called in concern about the work some of their parishioners are doing down in haiti in the middle of all of this tragedy. i think it is very, very important, chris, and i think chuck was 110% right. it is our responsibility as a country, especially the poorest country in the western hemisphere, you are familiar with what has happened as haitians taken to sea because of these situations, natural disasters or lack of clean drinking water or food. this time we have an opportunity for the international community to respond. i'm pleased to see a number of things are in place. the president has taken ownership and has said we have to be the leader here. president clinton appointed as special envoy to haiti. in the search and the recovery
effort that is long haul. to have individuals coming up with their depiction of what history is all about, i think that people have to remember that haiti, when it got its independence, it helped the united states in being able to take out the fight in savannah. there are many monuments against the british. we don't need a history lesson need it be accurate or inaccurate, we need response, search and recovery. >> are we going to get response from the government in port-au-prince? >> i hope so. i now that we will and we are coordinating those efforts internationally right now. there are a number of ambassadors that have been a part of the discussion along with the haitian ambassador to the u.s. the administration and secretary clinton has been on the phone with a number of individuals. it will take an international response like we responded to
thailand during the tsunami. haiti needs that same response. that response is very, very important because we have a number of individuals that it brings you to tears to see constituents that are calling me on my cell phone and calling my district office and have their loved ones in haiti on cell phone three way crying out for help saying they have pulled individuals out from under brick and mortar but can't find medical assistance for them. hopefully that will not be the case in hours to come. we have resources on the ground. i have talked with general frazier over the southern command coordinating assets toward haiti. i hope he continues to get the support which i believe he will get from this administration. executive action will bring about the difference of saving lives and losing lives at this point. >> u.s. congressman kendrick meek of florida. we will have more. up next, we will take a break to talk about massachusetts, the
hottest political race in the country. next tuesday a real chance, a certain real chance a republican could win ted kennedy's senate se seat. it is a real possibility. we'll take a break before we get back to the horror in haiti. "hardball" returns after this. entirely online and learn life skills that put you in charge. sign up for free right now and see how 31,000 food options give you options, and 1,800 recipes keep them fresh, so when life comes knocking, you can learn to live it, and lose weight and keep it off. sign up for free right now and get living. weight watchers online. stop dieting. start living. we're shopping for car insurance, and our friends said we should start here. good friends -- we compare our progressive direct rates, apples to apples, against other top companies, to help you get the best price. how do you do that? with a touch of this button. can i try that?
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i'm scott cohn with your cnbc market wrap. stocks are higher after a seesaw session. dow jones industrials 53 points higher, s&p 5009.5 the nasdaq added 25 points. broad based buying going on, gains in financial, health care and technology. wells fargo and bank of america turned things around after wild
fluctuations in the day. head of big banks testifying before congress about their actions in the financial crisis. merck and astra getting a big bonus. gool google may pull of china i. that's it from cnbc first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." >>. >> welcome back to "hardball." we will have much more on the devastation in haiti. let's talk about tuesday's election in massachusetts with the senate seat previously held by the late ted kennedy.
boston globe reporter susan milligan and peter canellos. peter, is your paper endorsing the democratic nominee? >> yes. martha coakley. we are telling people in massachusetts we understand they are frustrated. one way to send a message is to send coakley. she is not a ted kennedy style full throated liberal, she goes for measured results and that seems to be where the mood of the people s. >> are you speaking for the editorial board? >> i'm the editorial page editor now. i'm speaking for the editorial board. >> day the globe endorses a republican would be what day,
would you estimate that? when would you estimate your paper would endorse a republican? >> when the republicans come around to our point of view. we consider ourselves to be in line with sort of independent thinkers in massachusetts who tend to be left of center and coakley is right in line. >> here is scott brown. we have to show the cosmo picture. wait until you see this guy. full body. >> too much information. >> that was the candidate for the republican -- well, the republican candidate for senator for massachusetts. we have david gergen moderating the debate monday night. an interesting debate. a lot of people think scott brown the republican did very well in that debate. let's watch. >> are you willing under those circumstances to say i'm going to be the person? i'm going to sit in teddy kennedy's seat and block it for another 15 years. >> with all due respect, it is not the kennedy seat and not the
democrat seat but the people's seat. >> the populist answer. >> i agree. he's got a shot. if you told me a month ago scott brown had a chance of taking the seat held by ted kennedy i would have told you that is crazy. that scare has lit a fire by some of the disaffected democrats in massachusetts and helped martha coakley. people who would have stayed home and disillusioned and tired of what is going on in washington may get to the polls. >> the boston globe poll leads 50 to 49. i saw them converging the two numbers. do you see these numbers converging by next tuesday night? >> the race is very, very close. leading democrats are trying to get the vote out. the voters are frustrated. scott brown has tapped into that frustration. there are good arguments for why
coakley could be the candidate who does but no question brown could win. >> what is the worst issue for the democrats, the elitism of harvard, the bullying of the federal government or the grubiness of wall street? there are three big targets on the right. which is the fattest target for the republican candidate? is he going after wall street or washington or harvard? >> i think taxes and the health care thing and some people are very concerned about where the health care plan is going. >> he is running a beat the health care bill. >> oh, definitely. >> if he gets in there ain't 60 democrats. >> absolutely. >> peter, that is a rare case where your vote has an immediate consequence in the congress and in your life. he says he will vote against health care bill. coakley says she will vote for it. >> that is true.
people are frustrated we have a system in the senate where one senator can hold things up. they are sick and tired of it. the logical response isn't necessarily to vote for scott brown who says he is going to hold everything up. we have to see how that plays out. >> you are such an editorial writer. let me go back to a straight reporter. susan, every time the elite democrats get in trouble they go to the irish guys. michael hooley. they are out there putting a pulling operation together. >> yeah. michael mann may have been out there. >> they don't pay much attention to the scrubs until it is time to win an election then they go to the street corner guys. your thoughts, peter. >> point to coakley's last name. she has a good following. >> maybe i'm wrong? do they go to the street corner
guys when they are in trouble? >> you are absolutely right. she has been going to the street corner guys for a while. that is how she won the primary by a large margin. >> there is buzz that sunday night or some time but may be offset by the hell in haiti, one of the two leaders of our country will go up there. will that help or hurt it? >> it is an open question. i think that some people feel like having her surrounded by prominent democrat makes her look weak. other people feel like if you bring in the prominent democrats reminds people of what is at stake, the health care bill. >> will you editorialize on friday whether the president should come or not. >> interesting question. we will certainly consider it. >> come on tell me. are you going to editorialize if the president should come up there or not? >> it hasn't been presented adds a real possibility so we will
wait for something more concrete. >> thank you susan who knows the people of massachusetts. i have known you forever. not forever. you have a young lady. thank you peter, the book on ted kennedy "the last lion." tuesday night is the epicenter, the center of american politics next tuesday night. when we return much more on the devastating earthquake in haiti. if you want to help, you can find a list of charitable organizations active in haiti on our website. go to it firstname.lastname@example.org. the there are a lot of great groups getting involved already. as the? or as the recession that made us great? allstate has seen twelve recoveries. but this one's different. because we're different. we realized our things are not as important...
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welcome back to our special coverage of the earthquake tragedy in haiti. the department of homeland security has suspended the deportation of more than 30,000 haitians in detention awaiting deportation. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle including christen gillen brand, diaz-balart for temporary status. barbara lee is chairman of the
foreign relations committee. are you still chair of the caucus? >> yes. good evening. i still chair the congressional black caucus. haiti has been a caution issue for years. it is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. people live off of less than $2 a day. haiti is a country that, unfortunately, has had many, many challenges from food insecurity to high gas prices to unemployment to poverty to hiv and aids. and we have worked in the congressional black caucus, all of us, we have a haiti task force, we have worked for years to try to help change u.s. foreign policy toward haiti and also change our funding priorities so we could fund development efforts and help through our international aid efforts to make sure that haiti received the type of assistance that it needs and deserves. now, chris, here we are with
this emergency and this is a catastrophic emergency. i come from the bay earthquake-prone area. it's hard to imagine what a 7.0, 7.1 earthquake would entail. people are suffering, they are dying. and i want to commend president obama and secretary of state clinton because they responded quickly and in a robust fashion and now we're very focused. the congressional black caucus on the emergency relief effort and we are now, quite frankly, in search mode. search and assist. we are looking for people. people are under the rubble. we're trying to save lives. this is really about saving lives at this point. >> let's look at a commentary that wasn't very -- it's rush limbaugh talking about the haiti
earthquake. >> they will use this to varnish their credibility with the black community in the both light skinned and dark skinned black community in this country. that's why i could not wait to get out there. could not wait to get out there. >> what do you think about that? he talks like he's a wallrus under water but yet the words are worst than the sound. what do you make about that, stirring the pot on race in this country, the whole thing using this tragedy to do that. >> chris, i'm not even going to respond to that that is outrageous. the country, the american people, understand what is taking place. we are responding information to people. people are responding. as you mentioned, there are phenomenal organizations trying to contribute humanitarian
assistance. usaid.gov, people can go there to contribute money. for those trying to make this into an issue that doesn't make any sense, quite frankly to me, this is an issue, a humanitarian crisis. it's an earthquake that has killed thousands of people. americans, hate haitians, we have to move forward in any way that we can. >> thank you so much, u.s. congresswoman, barbara lee, thank you for coming in on this tragic night but it's good to hear your voice. >> thank you. the latest from the relief effort in haiti when we return. that continues just after this. you look beautiful tonight. allow me.
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are they helping the aide donors? >> yes, they are. they are doing as much as they can and in terms of the community itself and to be able to communicate and i don't know if you've heard, chris, but doctors were in buildings in port-au-prince and obviously the operations running through some serious obstacles. but what we're trying to do is assess the situation as best as we can, bring our best people together to make sure that the assessment meets right away so we can move as quickly as possible. but in terms of the delivery of aid, i think it's going to have to wait at least 36 hours. >> tell our audienceat